[jdev] Re: Jabber Certification Program

Jochen Wolters jochen at polytropia.com
Fri Jun 18 11:31:11 CDT 2004

> put the button up for bragging rights.

As you outlined in your original posting, Rachel, part of the 
motivation for the certification program would be to help average users 
choose the appropriate client. I, personally, would even consider that 
the _key_ reason for this kind of certification.

<anecdotal-evidence>When talking to users of non-Jabber IM systems, 
what I usually hear is that Jabber is too geeky, initial configuration 
(including the concept of having to find a server) is too difficult, 
etc. In other words, it just does not target the same user audience as 
IM services like iChat, AIM, or MSN Messenger.</anecdotal-evidence>

Having a more average-user-oriented attitude would help make Jabber 
(even) more popular, especially with users who are not interested in 
all the g(l)ory ;) details behind the scenes. Consequently, 
certification should definitely provide more than bragging rights: it 
should ensure that the user can easily find the client, or type of 
client, that s/he's looking for.

That's also why I don't think "recommended" features in a certification 
are such a good idea. If a Jabber application has achieved a certain 
level of certification, the user should not be required to check 
further resources to see whether "recommended" features are in that 
product, after all.

As a first step towards helping users choose a client, and as an 
eventual add-on to the certification effort, providing a (complete) 
list of clients that includes a feature-list that average users can 
understand, would already be very helpful. E.g., list "group chat" 
instead of naming the JEP, etc. If client programmers made sure that 
their implementation(s) of a specific feature are standards-complient, 
so that sending a file from one client to another should work properly 
with _any_ pair of clients, than that would be a huge help for 
potential Jabber users to get started by choosing a client that has 
what they need.

If the certification program would (eventually) work towards that end, 
it's a superb idea and definitely worth supporting. If, however, it's 
for bragging rights only, then I doubt its value. Especially if this 
should turn out to be a for-a-fee program, since purely hobbyist Jabber 
coders would probably not be able, let alone willing, to shed over 
money for certification if they give their Jabber software away for 



"Our gut-level distaste for something new is less about our reaction to
  the thing in question than it is about our fears of abandoning the
  familiar and comfortable."                             -- Andy Ihnatko

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